As of last Thursday, the economic slump and its consequences suddenly seems much more real. They told us we’re not going to be the ones affected, after all, bad news is what we thrive on, or in any case, if anything, it’ll be retrenchment and not relegation to the streets.
They were either wrong or lying. Four days ago, six people across departments in the company’s Bangalore office got the ‘resign or you’re sacked’ ultimatum.
And now, talk flares of cutting costs by slashing heads. And we trainees, barely 8 months into the organisation, feel our stark dispensability.
And between jokes of how here’s another exodus, maybe we’ll have to go join the defence forces like American bankers, our HR managers seem to be taking cheap pit shots at us by laying down ‘The 10 Commandments: Dos and Don’ts In Times Of Recession’, and pasting it on the notice board.
The list includes Thou Shalt Not Take Vacations, Thou Shalt Not Ask For A Raise (Remember you’ve a job, and there might be people out there who have better skills than you), Thou Shalt Not Resist Transfers Or Pay Cuts, Thou Shalt Always Act Busy, Thou Shalt Do Everything In Your Power To Stay Employed, Thou Shalt Not Complain…amongst other curtailments. Basically, we’re supposed to act like the pet neighborhood pooch, now that we’re at the mercy of forces beyond our control.
Meanwhile, coffee goes from free to Rs 5 per cup between 1-3 pm and 7-9 pm (what’s the logic behind that?!) and toilet paper goes missing. Newsprint becomes expensive and of poorer quality, and we’re supposed to work harder to make amends in that division. And expect pay cuts and pick up new skills and be on-the-dot punctual and not complain EVER.
And now I think: the signs were always there, we just never paid attention to the small print.
Obama’s now graduated from President-elect to President of the United States of America. He’s done it. Not all hope’s lost, really?
Lesson No. 556: you cannot empathise until it hits you in the face. You just cannot.